The 2015 Baseball Prospect Book is completed and has been sent to the printer. I don't have an ETA on when we will get the print copies back to us, but the electronic PDF version is available now.
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The book contains comments on 1,181 players, like these three examples:
Joan Mauricio, SS, Houston Astros Bats: L Throws: R HT: 5-11 WT: 160 DOB: October 22, 1996
(in the book the stats would be in this spot)
The Astros spent $600,000 to sign Joan Mauricio out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. He got off to a fast start in the 2014 Dominican Summer League and earned considerable praise from scouts and local observers. The Astros were impressed enough to promote him to the Gulf Coast League for the last three weeks of the season, an unusual step. As you can see he did not hit well in the GCL, although he was not as bad as the .127 average would lead you to believe. Mauricio is a quick-twitch athlete with good speed, a strong arm, and enough athleticism to stay at shortstop. He needs to cut back on errors but the tools are there and this should be just a matter of experience, not that it always turns out that way. His bat is interesting: he wasn’t supposed to have much power, but the 10 triples weren’t a fluke and he was genuinely driving the ball hard in the DSL. He also showed more grasp of the strike zone than is typical. We need to see what happens at higher levels, but Mauricio is very intriguing as a HIGH CEILING Grade C prospect.
Jared Mitchell, OF, Chicago White Sox Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-0 WT: 200 DOB: October 13, 1988
The Jared Mitchell Saga continues. He opened last year with Triple-A Charlotte but played so poorly (.199/.348/.327 with 78 strikeouts in his first 156 at-bats) that he was sent back to Double-A Birmingham for six weeks. He hit very well there, earning his way back to Charlotte and salvaging his season, hitting .274/.376/.442 in the last month to bring his slash line up to .230/.360/.375. That’s still not very good, but it is better than being below the Mendoza Line. The tools that made Mitchell a first round pick back in 2009 are still there, albeit in muted form. He never regained the speed he lost in his awful 2010 spring training leg injury. He still runs well but the injury cost him at least one tick on the bases and in the outfield. He has power but his production comes in streaks: he will get blistering hot for a few weeks, then equally cold, then swing back to hot again. He will draw walks and makes a good-faith effort to work counts but his tendency to swing-and-miss is extreme. It is tempting to give up on Mitchell completely, but I can’t shake the feeling that somehow, someday something is going to click in place and he’ll have a couple of decent seasons as a fourth outfielder. I don’t have anything empirical to back that up of course. Grade C.
Rafael Montero, RHP, New York Mets Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-0 WT: 170 DOB: October 17, 1990
Rafael Montero has now made 32 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, resulting in a 3.31 ERA, 158/59 K/BB in 169 innings with 154 hits allowed. That’s very solid pitching for Vegas and the Pacific Coast League environment and he doesn’t have anything left to prove down there. In the majors last year he had some rough moments, his control failing him on occasion and his home run rate being elevated way above what he gave up in the minors. He also had some good moments, including 10 strikeouts in six innings against the Diamondbacks in his third major league start, seven strong innings with six strikeouts against the Cubs in his sixth start, and one run with six strikeouts in five innings against the Astros in his final outing. Montero has a low-90s fastball, a slider, and a change-up. Scouts seemed less enthusiastic about him last year but the results were still solid overall and there could be some prospect hype fatigue going on there. I don’t see why he can’t be an effective major league pitcher with more adjustment time. He could be the Jake Odorizzi of 2015. Strong Grade B.